This morning I saw Eastern Promises, starring Naomi Watts and Viggo Mortensen.
My best advice to anyone heading out to see this: be prepared for the blood. I'm not a particular fan of gore, but for the story Cronenberg was telling, it was necessary.
A London midwife (Watts) loses a teenage mother on the operating table having known nothing about her and finds a diary the girl had written. In an effort to place the orphaned baby with the family of the deceased, she needs to have the diary translated from Russian to English. She firsts asks her uncle, but he refuses, so she goes to a restaurant that she found by way of a business card tucked into the girl's diary. There, she meets the proprietor who is perhaps too anxious to help her.
What transpires are frequent run-ins with the Russian mob and a flirtatious game of danger with the main family's "driver," who is played pitch-perfectly by Mortensen.
The film was well-paced and the story was easier to follow than many of Cronenberg's others, but without the delicious chemistry between Mortensen and Watts, it would have been just a series of violent chapters with little payoff in the end.
I liked A History of Violence better.